This delicate brooch, designed and executed by an artist’s hand, undoubtedly dates from around 1900. Depicted is a young woman in profile with soft features, long, full hair and girlish bustline. She wears flowers in her hair decorated with tiny diamonds suggesting a wreath. Just like the diamond adorned necklace it draws the eye to her soft and noble features. The soft relief is chased and set by a goldsmith marked with the initials ‘VE’. The small round portrait is accompanied by lucky clover – three-leaved clover, which promises good luck. Most likely, this piece was a proposal or engagement gift for a young woman.
The greatest innovation of the Fin de Siècle was the introduction of the female form into jewelry. Women, aware of their social position and femininity, wore such jewelry with enthusiasm.
The portrait is made of 18-karat gold and was still cast in sand as a Pforzheim adaptation of the French Art Nouveau. The prototype here can be seen in the French sculptor, engraver and medalist Émile-Séraphin Vernier, who caused a sensation with his medals about ten years earlier around 1890. Compared to the sweeping ornamental models from France, this portrait highlights elegance and grace!